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Scottsboro Trials Essay

1451 words - 6 pages

In the 1930’s segregation was strongly enforced and whites were superior to blacks. It didn’t matter whether you were poor or rich, if you were white you had more respect and trust than any black person did. So when white girls accuse blacks of raping them, something big is about to happen. Trials that were meant to only take a few days, turned into months, and soon it became years. Before people knew it, something as simple as rape trials was altering the countries future. The Scottsboro Trials were conducted in a way that gave us long-lasting effects.
Hoboes hitched rides on freight trains and did as they pleased during the 1930’s (Carter 3). When the train pulled away from the station at Stevenson the station master was approached by a group of pale hoboes. The only white guy in the group was grasping the back of his head which appeared to be oozing with blood. The group claimed there had been a fight and the group of Negros had thrown them out of the train (Carter 4). When the station master got word out to Jackson County the sheriff gave the county deputy authority to deputize any man he could find. When the freight train came to a halt at the Jackson county station it took all but ten minutes to search it. When the investigation was complete their findings consisted of nine colored Negro boys and two white women who were disguised as boys (Carter 5). When questioned, the boys claimed to have never seen each other before. After the deputy was done with the interrogation they were tied together in a line with a plow line. The nine boys were telling each other the outcome of this would be good. Ruby Bates told the deputy that the nine Negro boys raped her and her girlfriend Victoria Price (Carter 6). When the nine Negro boys arrived at the Scottsboro county jail the sheriff made no attempts at keeping the happenings a secret (Carter 7). The rumors grew more exaggerated and by the time the whole town heard, it was far from the real story. Several hundred people were gathered outside the jailhouse, the sheriff was driven to deputize twelve new men. The twelve plus the nine deputies stood inside the door and barricaded it. The sheriff warned the citizens that his men would shoot if they were tempted to, but this still didn’t make the crowd leave. Farmers’ wives brought their children along and were gathered at the back of the crowd (Carter 7). Into the next day the crowd had turned into an angry mob, and they had the sheriff convinced the doors of the jailhouse would burst any minute. He planned to flee the jailhouse with the nine boys and his men. The attempt failed due to the fact that the mob cut the wires of all three getaway cars (Carter 8). He resorted to calling the governor of Montgomery, who didn’t support lynching. Right when he heard of what was happening he sent the National Guard to go force the mob to disperse (Carter 9). As the crowd finally left and the night became quiet again, the Scottsboro boys drifted off to sleep...

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